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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Lisa Copeland or Kelly Stowe, WSDOT Communications, 360-357-2716
PUYALLUP – New lane restrictions for trucks and transit headed north on State Route (SR) 167 across the Puyallup River bridge begin in one week. Vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds (gross vehicle weight) must use the right lane when crossing the bridge.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews are installing signs this week in preparation for the restriction that officially starts Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Although the signs will be installed and visible Feb. 17, local law enforcement and Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) will allow a five-day grace period before they begin ticketing drivers who fail to move right.
“We hope that as soon as the signs go up, commercial vehicles will begin complying with the lane restriction,” said WSP Sergeant David Bangart. “We won’t start issuing tickets until Feb. 22.”
Failing to move right and heed the lane restriction could result in a $124 fine, said Bangart.
After a recent bridge inspection, WSDOT determined that the 86-year-old structure’s floor beams were showing signs of deterioration. Limiting the load it carries relieves some of the stress to the bridge deck.
WSDOT has plans to construct a new SR 167 Puyallup River Bridge, and design is scheduled to begin in 2014. With Legislative approval, the estimated $53.7 million project could happen sooner.
Approximately 15,000 vehicles, including 2,400 commercial trucks, travel the bridge daily.
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